Bashiok answered a question about the SC2 beta with some fairly obvious, but still gratifying to hear, information about the Diablo 3 Beta selection process.
Is it safe to assume that the people getting into the D3 beta will be based off how bad their PC is just like how it is in SC2 beta?
Bashiok: Is this a rhetorical question?
Well for our StarCraft II opt-in beta participants we do have a program that they need run that collects some basic system information. Central processing units, random access memories, vidjuh card, what have you. And when we send out keys we can look at everyone’s specs and choose who to send invites to. Some of that is definitely ensuring that people can even run the game, sure, but some of it is also targeting specific hardware regardless of performance for testing reasons.
So yeah, we want to make sure people can run the game before we invite them. We may also want to throw more invites at some specific piece of hardware for testing. We also have special invites and keys that are given away for contests, attending BlizzCon, etc. and it’s probably pretty likely that a Diablo III beta would follow pretty closely with all of these things.
As Bashiok explains, Blizzard needs a wide variety of machines in the beta test to check out hardware issues—ust as they need a wide variety of gamers to test every aspect of the game. Hardcore gaming fans often think they’re sure bets to get into a beta with their cutting edge machines and desire to play 18 hours a day. In reality, these factors might actually count against you, since Blizzard already knows the game will work on your machine and that you’ll have no trouble figuring out the game. It can be more useful for them to hear confused feedback from a noob with a video card that can’t manage more than 10 FPS.
Incidentally, an explanation for this seeming contradiction, and everything else you might wonder about a beta test, can be seen on the Diablo III Beta test page in the wiki.